Seeing red over house heights


No McMansions wanted: Carolyn Payne, the mayor Bryan Payne, Christine Hayden (Peninsula Speaks), Cr Rosie Clark (Briars Ward) and Cr Simon Brooks (Seawinds Ward) fly balloons 11 metres high outside a row of single-storey houses to show the height limits afforded developers under the state government’s already-passed building regulations. Picture: Yanni

RED balloons floated on 11-metre-long strings above Capel Sound last week to show how high the state government allows houses to go on the Mornington Peninsula without a permit.

Mornington Peninsula Shire says the contentious rules imposed last year “without consultation” already apply to 24,000 housing sites on the peninsula.

The figure represents a quarter of the peninsula’s housing stock.

The shire says the rules will lead to the proliferation of “three storey McMansions”.

The mayor Cr Bryan Payne said Thursday’s balloon demonstration aimed to “alert the Victorian community to the threats to coastal villages posed by future inappropriate development”.

“We want to demonstrate what the effect of the state government’s planning rules will be, and we will persist with the campaign until we get what we want,” he said.

“Residents will have no say in the planning process – they are as-of-right.”

Villages and townships under threat include Capel Sound, Rosebud, Dromana, Mt Martha, Mornington, Baxter, Somerville, Tyabb, Hastings and Bittern.

The shire wants the government to reintroduce the local planning statement which it believes has protected the “unique” character of the peninsula from inappropriate development since the 1970s.

“This planning policy is the thin edge of the Green Wedge and is a clear and present danger to the long-term planning of the peninsula’s residential environments because of the domino impact,” Cr Payne said.

“This is being experienced in other Melbourne suburbs where existing houses are being demolished and replaced by vastly oversized homes.”

The mayor said Thursday’s protest was “excellent”.

“Capel Sound is a typical single-storey location which will suffer the greatest impact from this type of over-development,” he said.

“We are concerned that the peninsula differs from normal suburbia.

“For 30 years successive state governments have honoured that difference and kept it in a pristine way.

“We feel that we are unique and don’t want to see our suburbs destroyed, like Camberwell, with over development.

“We are complying with government ideals of growth but we want to be in control of that growth.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 27 March 2018


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